Transferring Office 2013 Between Computers Is Legal Again

One of the more controversial changes introduced with Office 2013 was a restriction on the ability for individual users to transfer their licences between machines. Microsoft has backpedalled on its original proposal, which only allowed you to move licences if your machine had a warranty failure, and has now gone back to its previous stance, which lets you move the software provided you uninstall it from the old machine.

The change is outlined in a post on the official Office blog:

Based on customer feedback we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to transfer the software from one computer to another. This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one. Previously, customers could only transfer their Office 2013 software to a new device if their PC failed under warranty.

Just how much real difference this will make is questionable. As we’ve noted before, for individual consumers, purchasing the Office 365 subscription version is much cheaper than the standalone version, lets you run on five machines at once and has always allowed transfers. The subscription pricing for business users is somewhat odder, but corporate environments that don’t go the subscription route will typically have per-user volume licensing which isn’t machine dependent.

As such, the change largely impacts people who were prepared to pay up to $599 for a single install — a move that only makes sense if you assume you’ll be happy with that package for five years and won’t want to run on more than one machine. The most obvious beneficiaries are people purchasing the cheaper Home and Student package, which runs at $169. Nonetheless, it’s good to see flexibility being maintained for people who do want to make a one-off software purchase.

Office 2013 now transferable [Office News]